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Graduate FAQ

General || Decisions || Academic Credentials
Evidence of Financial Support || Test Requirements


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I am a prospective applicant. What do I need to submit in order to be considered for admission?

See our Requirements for information on what you need to submit for your application.

Do I need a bachelor's degree to be admitted into graduate school?

Completion of a baccalaureate degree (or an acceptable equivalent) from an approved institution is required; some programs also require a professional school degree, master’s degree, or certification (see Graduate Program Summary section).

I am trying to apply online. Why isn't my program in the drop-down menu?

There are a few possible reasons why your intended program may not be in the Intended Program drop-down menu:

  • The deadline for the program may have passed. Check the Application Deadlines page to see whether your program is still accepting applications.
  • The program may not accept applications for the Application Term you selected. Verify that you selected the correct term and that the program accepts applications for that term through the Application Deadlines page or the program’s website.
  • You may not have accessed the correct application option. Our Apply page indicates programs that have separate applications or applications processes. Verify that you’re accessing the correct link and Application Type for your intended program.

If your intended program is not listed in the drop-down box, do not submit the application with another program in order to complete the application. Doing so will result in processing delays and may inhibit departmental access to your records.

I am trying to apply online, but I cannot find my college or university in the drop-down. What should I do?

Most U.S. institutions and many international ones can be found by going through a series of drop-down menus. We encourage you to carefully search the drop-downs before manually entering the name of the school in the box provided. Using the drop-downs will ensure that your web application is processed correctly. Here are some hints for using the drop-downs effectively:

  • Try looking for an abbreviation (e.g. Univ of IL Urbana-Champaign)
  • Check for different orderings of the institution’s name as they may be alphabetized differently (i.e. U Mumbai vs. Mumbai University)
  • If you are from an institution that has several colleges that are affiliated to a larger university, always search for the university’s name.
  • If you still cannot find your university in the drop-down, please type the institution’s full name in the space provided.

How do I upload my documents electronically?

The link in the notification email will direct you to your application login webpage where you can begin uploading required items individually, as required. You may also access your application record through the Status Check page. Please prepare an electronic copy of the required application materials in PDF format so that they are available when requested. You must click on each linked checklist item in order to browse for the documents you have prepared and upload them.

Each item can be verified as received and accepted by checking the Received Date and the Item Status field, which will indicate whether the requirement has been satisfied by the submitted document. Item Statuses with a green checkmark - Green Check - indicate that the document is accepted. Item Statuses with a red x - Red X - indicate that there was an issue with your document. If a date does not appear in this area after an upload attempt, it means that the document has not been successfully uploaded.

Additional requests may be added after submitted items are reviewed by Admissions or program staff, so be sure to check your status on a regular basis.

Please see the Document Upload Guide for more detailed information.

I was never informed of a deadline or of the necessary documentation. What can I do?

The Office of Admissions receives and reviews over 15,000 applications every year. Due to this high volume, we are not always able to maintain personal contact with individual students. All of the information necessary to successfully apply to UIC is included in our online application and website.

How do I qualify for a waiver or deferment of the application fee?

The following are acceptable reasons for fee waiver eligibility:

  • Readmission to the Graduate College or currently enrolled as a graduate non-degree student at UIC and seeking degree status.
  • Qualify for  UIC Free App
  • Currently enrolled in a graduate program at either the University of Illinois at Springfield or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Qualify for the McNair Program fee waiver
  • Qualify for the Project 1000 fee waiver
  • Recipient of the Illinois Veterans Grant
  • Currently an employee of the University of Illinois (must provide % time and UIN)

Students must provide proof of their qualification before the fee waiver will be granted. Fees will not be waived based on statements of financial hardship. Payment of the application fee cannot be deferred until the student’s arrival on campus.

What financial support is available to me?

Teaching Assistantships and Fellowships are awarded through your academic department. More information on financial support can be found at:

Will you contact me to verify that my documents are properly uploaded to the UIC application? When will I know that my file is complete and if a decision has been made?

Applicants are able to track the status of their documents and applications online through the Application System.

You may Check your Status using the LoginID and password you created when you began the application. Any documents that we are currently requesting will be posted under the Requirements section without a Received Date. Updates made to your account will be reflected immediately in both the "Received Date" and "Status" fields.

Applications referred to the department will be noted as such. You will also be able to see if your application has been referred to the Graduate College for additional review. The Office of Admissions cannot provide a timeline for when these reviews will be completed.

Once an admit or deny decision has been made on your application, it will be viewable online next to "Decisions" and an official decision letter will be mailed to you.

How can I change my mailing address?

If you are a newly admitted or currently enrolled student, your mailing address may be changed through UIC Connect. Please go to: .

If you are a current applicant, please submit address changes to us using the UIC Prospective Student Contact form .

Is non-degree right for me? How do I go about applying?

Graduate non-degree study may be a viable option for students who already have at least a Bachelor or equivalent degree and simply wish to attend a few classes at UIC without committing to a degree program. In general, graduate non-degree students may take any classes offered at the university as long as they have not been restricted by the department.

Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid. Students on any kind of F-visa are not eligible for non-degree study.

The non-degree application is accessible from our Apply page. For more information, please visit the Non-degree FAQ.

I am currently enrolled at UIC. How can I change my program? How can I add a 2nd program to my current course of study?

Currently enrolled students do not need to submit a formal application in order to change or add a program. Instead, a Request for Change of Graduate Program should be completed. Students wishing to change or add a program should contact their current department for further information. The Change of Program form may be found at

How do I register for classes?

Your official letter of admission will contain both your University ID Number (UIN) and Temporary Control Number (TCN, if applicable). Once you have this information, you may go to . Your ID number (along with your SSN or university provided TCN) should allow you to set up an enterprise ID and password which will then allow you to proceed to registration. You will not be allowed to register until a time ticket has been issued to you. Most new students are able to register during Open Registration times. Please consult the Office of Registration and Records for further details

How much is tuition?

Tuition and fees vary from year-to-year. For the most recent estimates, please go to: International students should visit the  Office of  International Services website for estimated expenses at: .

I have a registration hold. When does this take effect? What do I need to do to have my hold lifted?

Holds may be placed on your account for many reasons. Graduate Admissions is only responsible for placing holds for 2 reasons.

  • You were admitted pending the submission of final, official documents. The Office of Admissions  will place a hold on your registration after the 10th day of your 1st term at UIC. You will be allowed to enroll and study during your 1st semester with outstanding documentation. We recommend that all students clear their pending conditions by submitting the required transcripts/degrees when they arrive on campus. Without accomplishing this step, you will not be able to register for your 2nd semester of study. Transcript holds will not be released until the required documentation is presented to the Office of Admissions .
  • You are currently a UIC student and you are requesting a level change. This will affect you if you are a non-degree student applying for a degree program or an undergraduate student applying for graduate admission. This hold is placed your account to prevent you from registering at the wrong level. Level change holds will be lifted automatically when a decision is returned on your graduate application. If you register on the undergrad/non-degree level for a term in which you are expecting to begin graduate study, your registration will remain at the current level.

If you have any other hold (Immunizations, OIS-SEVIS, Advising), you will need to contact the corresponding office for information on how that hold may be lifted.

How do I calculate my GPA?

Access our online GPA calculator for assistance.

What is the minimum GPA required?

Graduate College requires an undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75 (A= 4.00) for the final 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of baccalaureate study, including all of the work taken in the term in which the student began the final 60 semester hours of study (programs may require a higher GPA). If your GPA is below 2.75, your application must be approved by the Graduate College.

What happens if my GPA or TOEFL/IELTS score is below the minimum requirement?

A low GPA, TOEFL/IELTS, or other test score does not automatically mean you will be denied admission. These are only a few factors when departments are considering your application for admission. If your department wishes to recommend you for admission, they may be able to do so with the approval of the Graduate College. All applications recommended for admission that do not meet the minimum GPA and test score criteria will have to undergo a mandatory review by the Graduate College.

The Graduate College will decide whether to uphold the department’s recommendation or to reject it. If you are admitted on limited standing, you will need to complete specific requirements set forth by the department (usually during your 1st year of study). Full standing may be granted upon successful completion of the limited standing stipulations.

Full details concerning English proficiency requirements may be found on our English Proficiency Requirements page.

I'm being charged out-of-state tuition, but I’m an Illinois resident. How can I get this corrected?

New students that are considered non-residents are notified of their residency status in their admission letter. If you have been classified incorrectly or you feel your residency status has changed since your date of admission, you will need to file a Residency Petition with the Office of Admissions. More information on residency and the residency petition may be found at Please carefully review all instructions when filing a petition because deadlines do apply.

I currently reside in the United States, but I am not a citizen. Which citizenship category do I fall under? How do I know if I am categorized as an international applicant?

Regardless of your current residence, you are considered to be an international applicant if you currently hold any type of visa. Here is a brief description of some of the commonly misunderstood citizenship categories.

US Citizen
Born or naturalized
U.S. Permanent Resident
Green card holder. You should submit an Alien Registration Number and a copy of your PR card with the application.
Current holders of any type of visa or those applying for a visa. If you are on a valid visa, you should submit a copy with your application. If you require an I-20 or DS-2019 to study, you will need to submit evidence of financial support.
Adjustment in Status
This category is for applicants who are in the process of becoming a permanent resident. You should submit any documentation that can provide details of your status such as receipts or petitions from USCIS.
Non-citizen (Other)
This should only be used if none of the other categories apply to you. Once again, valid visa holders or those seeking a visa should not use this category.

I'm a legal permanent resident. Do I follow domestic or international guidelines?

Legal permanent residents are oftentimes caught between processing policies for domestic and international students. Since students in this category are not in need of an I-20 or DS-2019, the Office of Admissions generally accepts applications up to the domestic deadline. The Office of Admissions still encourages students who completed studies overseas to apply early since the review and processing time may be longer when international credentials are involved. Permanent residents should expect the following:

  • Required submission of all academic credentials expected of international students (complete transcripts, marksheets, proof of degree, English translations)
  • Plan to take the TOEFL/IELTS. You may not qualify for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver based on your residence in the U.S. See the section on “How can I receive a TOEFL/IELTS waiver” for more instructions.
  • You will not need to submit evidence of financial support.

What is a TCN and how do I obtain it?

A TCN is a 9-digit Temporary Control Number that is issued to students who do not have or did not report a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN). Your TCN can be found at the top of your admit letter. If you provided a SSN, no TCN will be issued to you.

What is a United States Social Security Number (SSN) and when do I need to provide it?

A Social Security Number is a government issued identification number generally used for tracking working individuals for taxation purposes. An SSN is required for students who apply for federal financial aid or who are subject to IRS reporting requirements, but is not required for applicants or admission to the University. International students who do not have a SSN should not provide other national ID numbers in attempt to fully complete the application. Please see the Social Security Administration’s website for more complete details:

I have used different versions of my name. What should I do to ensure that all of my documents are matched with my application?

Electronically uploaded documents will be automatically matched with your application, but in any other case, you should always use your full, legal name on all credentials that you are submitting to UIC. Please include any alternate names in the space provided on the application. When possible, include your University Identification Number (UIN) on all documents. If you provided a different ordering or spelling of your name to ETS for GRE or TOEFL/IELTS reporting, please provide this name to the Office of Admissions.  You may send name changes or updates to us using the UIC Prospective Student Contact form (no attachments).

Can I get a refund of my application fee?

As stated in the application, the application fee is nonrefundable. By submitting it, you agree that you understand the terms presented within the application. A cancellation or deny decision does not mean that no review was done. In fact, the instant you submit an application to us, a review is done. Before any decision is made (admit, cancel, or deny), a final review is made. In reality, no application goes un-reviewed!

If for some reason you submitted two payments for the application fee, you may request a refund by contacting us using the UIC Prospective Student Contact form. You will be asked to provide proof that two payments were made (e.g. copies of 2 cancelled checks, 2 payments made to UIC on a bank or credit card statement). Once your rebate request has been reviewed, it may take 6-8 weeks for your refund to be issued.


How long will it take to get a decision?

The time it will take to receive an admission decision will vary by department. Once your application is complete (all of your academic materials have been received and reviewed by the Office of Admissions) it will be forwarded to your graduate program for review. Some departments review applications as they arrive and make decisions on a daily basis. Others will have review committees which meet a few times during the admissions season and return all recommendations to the Office of Admissions in a batch.

Once your department has made its recommendation, your application will still have to be approved by the Office of Admissions and the Graduate College before official acceptance can be issued.

As always, you will receive an early decision if you apply well before the deadline and submit a complete set of required materials in one packet to the correct office.

I received an admission letter from my department. Why haven’t I been admitted?

Your academic department does not have the authority to officially admit you to the university. The letter you have received from them states their intention to recommend you for admission to the program. This recommendation must then be reviewed by the Office of Admissions and approved by the Graduate College. Typically, applicants can expect an admission letter from the Graduate College or a follow-up letter from the department (in case the recommendation is not approved) in a few weeks following the initial departmental letter.

What does conditional admission mean?

Conditional admission means that an applicant has been admitted, but still needs to submit final, official academic credentials for their permanent record. The online application summary checklist and university admission letter will both indicate the official credentials being requested.

Conditionally admitted students can enroll and study during their first term at UIC, but will need to submit the requested official credentials before they can register for their second term. An Admissions registration hold takes effect after the registration period of the first term.

The requested credentials may be submitted in person at the Office of Admissions (as long as they remain sealed) when a student arrives on campus, or they can be mailed to us, please see Office of Admissions Contact Information. Holds will not be released until the required documentation is received by the Office of Admissions.

International students, please visit the Glossary of terms related to academic credentials to find out what the Office of Admissions considers to be official documents.

Why was my application cancelled?

Cancellations may be made by the Office of Admissions or by your academic program. Your application may have been cancelled for the following reasons:

  • All required Admissions requirements were not submitted.
  • All required departmental requirements were not submitted.
  • The Program deadline has passed.
  • The Program has reached its enrollment capacity for the term.
  • You do not meet the qualifications for Graduate study at UIC.

Why was I denied? What can I do now?

If you have received a deny decision based on review, you will need to contact your program directly for details regarding why your application was rejected. The Office of Admissions cannot give you specific reasons for the decision. Your department may also be able to advise you on how to successfully seek admission for a future term.

How can I defer my admission?

Students who have been recommended for admission, but cannot attend for valid reasons, may request to defer their admission. An admitted application can only be deferred only once for up to one academic year (applicants admitted for the Fall term may only defer to the following Spring, Summer, or Fall terms). Admission to the term is contingent upon departmental admissions practices for that term. Students do not need to submit a new application, fee, or set of academic credentials in order for a deferral to be granted.

Who qualifies for a deferral?

Only students who have been recommended admission by the department or officially admitted by the Graduate College are eligible to defer admission.

Denied applications and those cancelled due to missing academic credentials cannot be deferred.

How to go about seeking a deferral

You will need to contact the department to request a department. Your department has the authority to grant your request or to deny it. Departmental awards may not be guaranteed for a new term. Departments then forward requests to the Admissions Office for final approval. An admitted application record is created for approved deferred admission terms and a new admission letter is mailed out.

International Students - If your deferral is approved, you may need to submit new evidence of financial support for the new term. You would need to contact the Office of International Services for further details about your specific case. OIS is informed of all international admits, so you would also be included in correspondence indicating whether or not financial documents are needed for the approved deferred admission term.

Academic Credentials

When can I upload my academic credentials?

Application records are ready to accept electronic documents within 3-5 business days after submission of the application, but it may be sooner. An Acknowledgement email is sent out. Admissions staff will then audit your application record to determine the appropriate credentials request. A brief update email will be sent out.

What file types and sizes are acceptable to upload?

  • Documents should be in PDF format, under 5MB in size.
  • To limit file size, scan in the lowest resolution that results in a legible document.
  • If a document is comprised of multiple pages, please ensure that all pages are combined into one electronic file.
  • Ensure that the entire document is included in the scan and that no part of the document is cut off.

How will I know if you accepted the documents I have uploaded?

 Each item can be verified as received and accepted by checking the Received Date and the Item Status field, which will indicate whether the requirement has been satisfied by the submitted document. Item Statuses with a green checkmark - Green Check - indicate that the document is accepted. Item Statuses with a red x - Red X - indicate that there was an issue with your document. If a date does not appear in the Received Date field after an upload attempt, it means that the document has not been successfully uploaded.
Additional requests may be added after submitted items are reviewed by Admissions or program staff, so be sure to check your status on a regular basis.

Please see the Document Upload Guide for more detailed information.

My program only requires a Bachelor’s degree for admission. Why am I being asked to submit my post-baccalaureate (Master’s) transcripts?

It is university policy to ask for records pertaining to the 1st Bachelor’s degree earned by a student and all subsequent work. You will be required to submit records for all work completed following your Bachelor’s degree regardless of the admission requirements for your specific program.

I was a UIC student. Do I need to obtain transcripts to submit with my application?

Applicants with UIC coursework may upload either a copy of their Web Academic History, available through Student Self Service, or a copy of a transcript, if one is readily available. We have access to your UIC transcripts through our student system. Some departments may require you to submit UIC transcripts to them for their records. You will need to contact your academic program regarding their policies.

Please note, while we are part of one university system, we cannot obtain transcripts from UIUC or UIS internally. You will need to submit UIUC or UIS transcripts.

I participated in a semester, year, or summer abroad program. Do I need to submit a transcript from the Institution where I studied abroad?

If your study abroad work was completed during your last 60 semester hours or last 90 quarter hours of your undergraduate coursework, and it is not listed on your current University's transcript as study abroad credit, you will need to upload an official transcript from the study abroad institution.

I am applying for readmission to the Graduate College. I submitted credentials when I was first admitted. Do I need to submit them again?

The Office of Admissions typically keeps the records of students who were admitted and registered for classes for ten years. If you are applying for readmission, there is a chance that the documents you initially submitted are still on file. An admissions counselor will be able to verify if your old records are still here and if they can be used toward completing your new application. In some cases, you will be asked to upload credentials.

If you were previously admitted as a graduate student but never registered, you will need to submit credentials through the application system as required for your program.

I applied for admission, but was denied or unable to attend. I want to apply for a future term. Will you keep the documents that I already uploaded or submitted?

You will be required to upload documents for each application submitted regardless of the documents on file with the Office of Admissions. You will be notified whether or not you will be required to submit official documents after admission based upon what the Office of Admissions has on file.

How can I get my documents (or copies of them) back?

All documents submitted to UIC become the property of the University. Documents will not be released to the applicant or forwarded to other institutions or agencies. When submitting official credentials after admission, please do not submit your original or only set of academic credentials. No documents will be returned to you.

Am I required to send official paper documents after having them uploaded to my application?

Please do not submit official paper documents during the application process unless they have been expressly requested. Any paper credentials received by the Office of Admissions may not be reflected in application records until the end of the cycle. Official documents will only be required if you are admitted to UIC.

What does “official” transcripts/degree mean?

Official documents are those which have been issued by your university and bear an original attestation. In the United States, sealed transcripts issued directly from the Registrar's office are considered official. The university may issue transcripts directly to UIC or to the student. As long as the seal is not broken, the transcripts will be considered official. We will not accept transcripts or degrees printed off the web.

From foreign institutions, copies of original documents which have been attested by the Registrar or Controller of Examinations and sealed by the same individual will be considered as official. Each document should be attested.

My documents have been reviewed by the United States Educational Foundation (Education USA). Are these acceptable? Are they considered official?

UIC does not consider academic credentials which have passed through the hands of a third party as official. We may take these documents for processing purposes if they fulfill our requirements. However, in order for documents to be considered official, they always need to be submitted from the issuing university directly.

I sent official documents from an international institution. Why am I being asked for them again?

Documents may be considered unofficial for the following reasons:

  • Attestation is not consistent. If each document is stamped by a different individual, the Office of Admissions will not accept them as official.
  • Attestation is not performed by the correct university official. Documents should be attested by the university Registrar (assistant, associate or deputy), Controller of Examinations, attestation officer, Principal or Dean. Documents attested by other individuals will not be accepted.
  • Documents were submitted in plain or open envelopes. Envelopes must be sealed at the time they are presented to the Office of Admissions and must bear the stamp or signature of the attesting individual over the flap.
  • Attestation has been done by EducationUSA or similar third party organization.

My documents are in a language other than English. What is an acceptable method for having them translated?

The Office of Admissions requires literal, certified translations for all documents issued in a language other than English. Translations should be on a translator’s letterhead and should be literal (not an interpretation). We accept translations from ATA certified translators, court-appointed translators, or from the consulate. You may find an ATA translator at their web site: Plain translations, notarized translations, and translations done by someone other than a certified translator are not acceptable. Evaluations performed by agencies such as WES and ECE will not be used in place of certified translations.

Should I obtain an ECE or WES evaluation?

For students applying to graduate programs, the Office of Admissions does not require students to submit credential evaluations (ECE or WES reports). The Graduate Admissions office will perform its own review of your academic course work. We will not accept evaluations performed by another agency in place of your original transcripts, marksheets, or degrees. Evaluations will also not be used in place of certified, English translations.

Evidence of Financial Support

When do I need to submit my bank statement and financial certification?

Though not required until after admission, the Office of International Services strongly recommends that financial documents be submitted during the application process so that acceptable documentation is on file once an international applicant has been admitted. These items will be requested through the Application Summary, once submitted applications are ready to receive uploaded materials. Please visit the Office of International Services website at for additional information on financial document requirements and follow up with them for any inquiries you may have about financial document requirements and I-20 processing.

Submission of financial documentation does not affect application review and admission.

Test Requirements

Am I required to submit English proficiency test scores?

Please see our English Proficiency Requirements page for full details concerning this requirement.

Am I required to submit GRE, GMAT or any other test scores?

Please note that requirements for the GRE, GMAT or any other tests measuring academic aptitude are set by departments per program. Refer to the program's website or contact the department for more information.

What is your Institutional Code for reporting TOEFL and GRE?

Our Institutional Code is 1851 for both TOEFL and GRE scores. These must be reported directly to UIC by ETS. Please inquire with the department with regard to department codes.

I already reported my test scores to your school but my checklist indicates you haven’t received them.

Please note that it can take up to two weeks from the order date for scores to be reflected in our system.

If the name you indicated to the testing service is different from the name you provided in your application, the scores would not be automatically matched with your application record. Contact us if you reported your scores with a different name or variation of your name.

Can I be admitted conditionally without the submission of English proficiency scores or GRE scores?

If required, applicants cannot be admitted without satisfying the English Proficiency requirements. TOEFL or IELTS scores must be submitted in order to complete the application file. Applications without these will remain incomplete.

GRE scores may or may not be required by the department and may or may not be waived in certain circumstances. Refer to the program's website or contact their office for more information on their GRE requirements.